Chipotle E. Coli scare has fanatics in a frenzy
By Jessica Baskerville
Food with integrity- this is the slogan of the fast food chain Chipotle; it represents how they’ve always taken pride in using “real” ingredients without fillers. In that sense, Chipotle has taken a step above other chains, but there is a risk when it comes to buying local.
On Oct 31, the popular restaurant chain closed 43 of their locations, including all of their restaurants in the state of Washington and in the Portland area, after at least eight people were hospitalized with E. coli.
Victim Ashley Arellano ate at a Chipotle in Portland on Oct 17 and, four days later, rushed herself to an emergency room and was later diagnosed with E. coli, according to NBC News.
“I was terrified that I was going to go to bed and not wake up,” Arellano told NBC News. Since then, Arellano feels as if her illness has been neglected by the company of Chipotle.
“I feel that they [Chipotle] have not even acknowledged my case, which isn’t right,” Arellano said.
E. Coli is a bacterial, intestinal disease that, in some cases, can cause illness and even death, according to the CDC. Some symptoms include abdominal cramping, nausea, and fever. The symptoms of intestinal E. coli can last for up to a week, according to Healthline.
“We immediately closed all the restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems,” Chipotle said in a statement.
After further investigation, Oregon health officials told NBC News that they’ve traced the disease to “fresh produce – possibly lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, or cilantro.”
At least three of the victims, Jessica Ellis, Carmaine Mode, and Chris Collins, are filing lawsuits against Chipotle after being infected with E. Coli.
The latest scare has many people wondering exactly how safe it is to eat at the mexican grill chain. Although Chipotle claims on their website that it safe to eat there, there is still a risk when it comes to eating fresh produce.
“The outbreak is over,” Chipotle said to NBC News. The restaurant chain has since reopened all 43 of its closed locations after the investigation. Chipotle has also said that they have sanitized all affected locations and shipped in new ingredients.